We all know the massive impact the digital era brought to the world – or at least we thought we did.
Did you ever imagine seeing an advertisement on every app you download? Did you ever think you would be able to watch a TV commercial at the gas pump? The way digital media affects our brains and how we consume content is exactly what some professors are trying to better understand.
Gregory Flaxman, an associate professor of English and comparative literature, spoke on Tuesday at a Triangle Film Salon event about the history of digital media. Flaxman argues that to better understand how digital media affects the consumer, it's important to look at the history of digital media.
"The history of what we think of as digital is the sense of computing processes, that's a history of mathematics and not a history that begins in 1980 or 1940," Flaxman said. "It's a history that is centuries of years old."
From an art history perspective, he attempts to educate listeners on the roots of digital media — which he said dates back to the 17th century with Gottfried Leibniz, one of the inventors of calculus. While Flaxman has been able to date the genesis of digital media, he said the effects digital will have on this generation are unknown because of the amount of content there is to consume.